This topic is for paid for discussions. Please mail us at if you'd like to know more about how they work.

How best to share pregnancy news with your boss: share your stories and tips with PG tips Decaf and you could win £250 NOW CLOSED

(88 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 28-Feb-14 11:02:33

We know it's sometimes tricky to break your pregnancy news to your boss or line manager or even colleagues - the team at PG Tips Decaf would like to hear your top tips for this time.

They say "With early pregnancy being - sometimes - a tricky time - with lots of advice and do's and don'ts to absorb with PG Tips Decaf you're able to enjoy a caffeine-free cuppa - enabling you to carry on enjoying your favourite brew without the caffeine"

So please share on this thread....

~ when's the best time to share the news with your employer(s)? - both in terms of your pregnancy and other things going on at work
~ when's the worst time?
~ how did you explain / excuse any morning sickness bouts?
~ how did you tell your boss and what was their reaction?

Please share your tips and stories on this thread: everyone who does will be entered into a prize draw where one lucky MNer will win a £250 voucher for the store of their choice.

thanks and good luck


CMOTDibbler Fri 28-Feb-14 11:20:39

I think its best to tell your manager as soon as possible.

When I was pg with my ds, my boss was over from the US just after I was 12 weeks, so I told him then (I'd had repeated mc, so he knew I was ttc). What he didn't expect was that my colleague had just found out she was pg with twins, and she told him then. He was delighted for us, though 8 weeks later when another colleague anounced she was pg -and this made the entire female uk contingent pg - our unit manager was a bit shocked!

KateOxford Fri 28-Feb-14 13:46:18

I think it is best to tell them as soon as possible as this helps your employer to plan and helps them to adjust your work to your situation. I told mine early on as due to the nature of my job I have to be out of the office for long periods and was struggling with constantly needing the toilet! Also I got very hungry and as we have set lunch times I had to ask to be permanently put on early lunch break. We could have been told off for snacking in the office but they understood that I got very hungry! The worst time would be when they have noticed all of these things and perhaps think you are not being honest in telling them sooner. My boss was very pleased and accommodating of my needs, which in turn made me more relaxed and able to focus on my work. I didn't have any morning sickness. When I was pregnant it was also a time of extreme weather with snow and ice and so I was able to remain in the office rather than slipping around on the ice as I have to walk to appointments often. I feel I made the right decision in telling them sooner than most people would have done but I think they appreciated me doing so.

NotCitrus Fri 28-Feb-14 14:02:33

I think as soon as possible, assuming your boss is a halfway decent human being.
First time: I told my new boss before I started a temporary promotion with him, the day after he had offered me the job with the comment "just as well you did an excellent application form and I know you, as that was the worst interview I've ever seen. And luckily for you the other guy was crap!" I replied saying the reason I was so out of it turns out that I'm actually 4 months pregnant and starting to feel better now. He was actually happy as most people in the temporary team wanted to stay as long as possible, so it was good to have one person wanting to push off earlier.

Second time round, I found out early on and wasn't planning to tell people until 12 weeks, but was feeling so ill and exhausted I had to tell my manager. Who was lovely and I think relieved I wasn't dangerously ill. Though both times I ended up off sick for months, so despite managers being nice people, I came out badly in the appraisal process simply for not being there.

MrsMonkeyBear Fri 28-Feb-14 14:34:43

I told my boss as soon as I found out. Sat down and had a meeting with all the managers in the hotel. I'm a chef and if anything goes wrong I needed to know that there was a good support net at work. I was very upfront with the subject. However I am now quite upset as someone in the management team breeched my confidence and now the entire staff know and I'm only 7 weeks. One of the other managers has set me up with a chair and a bucket in his office tho, which I thought was incredibly sweet.

Puppypoppet Fri 28-Feb-14 14:58:22

I had to tell my boss at about 6 weeks when I started bleeding. I phoned in sick as GP signed me off and I had to mention it was pregnancy related as it is treated differently by my employer. Did suffer with morning sickness for the first 22 weeks. From about week 4 to going off sick at 6 weeks I was pretty ill - remember eating little pieces of crystallised ginger and drinking lemon and ginger tea which must have looked a bit strange!
Boss was very understanding luckily and returned to work at about 12 weeks when bleeding settled down.

Alice2014 Fri 28-Feb-14 15:52:52

How not to tell your boss: expecting a phone call to my mobile from an external tech support team. I answer my phone in front of my boss; he can clearly hear the conversation... "Hello this is the midwife just calling to make your booking in appointment..." I could hardly tell her she had the wrong number. And so my boss found out before my parents! If it would happen to anyone it would be me. Luckily he was really nice about it, and laughed when literally 30 seconds after that call we had the support team call back. At least it avoided me feeling awkward, and it was easy for me to make GP appointments. I do think 6 weeks pg is very early to tell people, especially work people, but what else could I have done?

MrsLoada Fri 28-Feb-14 16:03:50

I think telling you boss as soon as possible is best
I told them at 10 weeks as I wanted time off for the scan, he just laughed and said I wondered when you were going to tell me, I asked how he knew . He told me it was the fact I'd only nibbled on ginger biscuits for a few weeks and that I kept going green and dashing to the loo.

Keenoonvino Fri 28-Feb-14 17:03:09

My employers are not very nice people. The first time I was planning to tell then after 12 wk scan, but sadly it didn't go well and I had to tell them bad news instead. They then docked my wages when I was off sick in hospital with a d&c.

I still haven't told them this time (it's still early) - I now work on a consultancy basis and feel that they don't need to know until I want to tell them.

I think if you boss and company are nice and understanding tell them as soon as you want to, then if anything goes wrong or you have to be at appointments you don't feel that you have to lie. And you may get treated slightly better!

Missingcaffeine Fri 28-Feb-14 17:13:40

I just made sure I chose a day when my boss was in a good mood! I told her really early on, as I wanted her advice, as I'd been offered another job (promotion) and wondered if I should decline the promotion. She told me to go for the promotion as it would probably suit me better and would probably be less stressful (current job really stressful and long hours).

Hopezibah Fri 28-Feb-14 17:29:43

~ when's the best time to share the news with your employer(s)? - both in terms of your pregnancy and other things going on at work

If you get on well with your boss and have a good working relationship with the organisation then there's no reason to avoid telling them and I would tell them once I announce to everyone else i.e. friends and family. I would do it when my belly starts showing a bump and after 12 week scan so around that time.

Having said that with my first pregnancy we didn't tell anyone until 17 weeks as bump didn't show until then.

I think it is professional to arrange a short meeting to tell your boss so that they / you aren't distracted by work going on around you.

~ when's the worst time?

If they hear from elsewhere first, that is not good!

~ how did you explain / excuse any morning sickness bouts?

Just say you're feeling under the weather. I snacked loads to keep sickness at bay.

~ how did you tell your boss and what was their reaction?
They were really pleased (or seemed to be at least). Then we talked through the work arrangements after the excitement.

sharond101 Fri 28-Feb-14 21:09:28

~ when's the best time to share the news with your employer(s)? - both in terms of your pregnancy and other things going on at work
I think just after the 12/13 week scan when you are telling everyone else, but before you tell other work colleagues.
~ when's the worst time?
I'd say hearing it from everyone else is the worst time.
~ how did you explain / excuse any morning sickness bouts?
I had hyperemesis and had to tell my boss right from the start so no excuses there.
~ how did you tell your boss and what was their reaction?
I didn't want to tell my boss until later on but felt myself needing to when I started bleeding the day after I found out. I had to leave work and couldn't think of any worthy enough excuses except of course the truth.

Bubbles85 Fri 28-Feb-14 21:14:06

~ when's the best time to share the news with your employer(s)? - both in terms of your pregnancy and other things going on at work
I told them as soon as we had the first scan.
~ when's the worst time?
Leaving to too late or telling them as soon as you get a BFP.
~ how did you explain / excuse any morning sickness bouts?
N/A only had these after they knew.
~ how did you tell your boss and what was their reaction?
Outright. She was really happy for me.

BrokenToeOuch Fri 28-Feb-14 22:56:46

~ when's the best time to share the news with your employer(s)? - both in terms of your pregnancy and other things going on at work - after the 12 week scan ideally, though I was so far gone with my 1st pregnancy that I didn't find out until 7 months.
~ when's the worst time? - probably at around 7 months pg! It was a bit of a bombshell and my boss was quite worried I had done myself harm (worked in a pub, was often shifting barrels, on my feet all day/night, didn't eat well, everything was absolutely fine though!)
~ how did you explain / excuse any morning sickness bouts? - I didn't have any!
~ how did you tell your boss and what was their reaction? I phoned (from the doctors) and told her. She was shocked and happy, but we had a close friendship and we have remained friends ever since smile

devoncreamtea Fri 28-Feb-14 23:10:46

I think wait for your 12 wk scan, unless you going green and reaching for the bin every 5 mins!

BrokenToeOuch Fri 28-Feb-14 23:51:56

Devon I agree! Though I was lucky enough to avoid any sickness throughout my 3 pregnancies so no problems there.

BlindKitty Sat 01-Mar-14 07:11:07

I just told her to start looking for my maternity leave cover grin

livingzuid Sat 01-Mar-14 12:38:46

I had hg and was off sick for most of the first trimester. It was complicated as I was on a fixed term contract and also had a scan at 7 weeks where they said it might not be viable. It was really hard with that and permanent vomiting to do much of anything! Ideally I wanted to wait until after the 12 week scan but it just wasn't possible.

I told my boss at 9 weeks and they were very supportive. If you are feeling ill and struggling in the first trimester then arrange a quick meeting and be upfront and honest. Most employers will appreciate being told as it gives them more time to prepare for your maternity cover.

If you are worried about any discrimination then make sure you keep a record of activity. There is separate legislation to provide for pregnancy and pregnancy-related sickness in the workplace so it may be worth asking for a copy of your organsiation's policy for pregnancy at work when you tell your manager. And do make sure a risk assessment is done.

There are some really sad stories on here of women who are being treated very badly. It's illegal to discriminate and illegal for them to not provide for you adequately during pregnancy so be sure to arm yourself if you think there is a problem.

~ When's the best time to share the news with your employer? - It depends on your job. If you work in an area where you need to be on lighter duties, you should tell them at once and they should keep it confidential. Otherwise, I'm a strong believer in not telling anyone until after the 12 week scan if you can avoid it.

~ When's the worst time? The worst time would be finding out without being informed- it's inconsiderate and unprofessional.

~ How did you explain / excuse any morning sickness bouts? I really thought DD was food poisoning so that was the excuse I gave until I realised.

~ How did you tell your boss and what was their reaction? The company I worked for when I was pregnant weren't very nice. They were professional and worked within the law, but not exactly caring so I just informed them through HR.

Pinter Sat 01-Mar-14 14:29:06

Because of the nature of my work I told my boss at 9 weeks. Before my parents!
There was an excellent handover to my cover & I felt very supported throughout.
They are also being brilliant about my phased return & flexible hours have been made available

IceNoSlice Sat 01-Mar-14 15:54:28

The best time to tell the boss:
For both my pregnancies I told the bosses before the 12 wk scan - first time because there were a lot of overseas projects coming up which I was hoping not to be put on, and the sec

ClairityVerity Sat 01-Mar-14 16:00:39

Me: Hi, Boss.

Boss: Hi, Clairity!

Me: I have something important I need to tell you.

Boss: What's that, then?

Me: You know how I've put on a teeny weeny smidgen of extra weight recently?

Boss: Yes?

Me: Well, it's 'cos I'm actually pregnant.

Boss: <<mock surprise>> Oh, wow, congrats, I'd never have guessed.

Me: <<flicking hair>> I know, I know, some women can hide fifteen extra stone amazingly well. Guess it helps having long hair and hollow bones.

Boss: Yeah, you're looking really... well. <<furious scribbling on office sweepstake card>> So it's twins? Triplets? Quads?

Me: <<hard stare>>

IceNoSlice Sat 01-Mar-14 16:05:21

Fat fingers.

The second time I was returning to work after mat leave already preg. I was having lots of discussions about my return, setting objectives etc and work were being very supportive. So I would have felt dishonest not telling them.

It is probably best, in general, to tell them just after 12 week scan. However, I think that, unless you are worried about MC it is often best to tell them earlier. Especially if there is an annual planning process going on. But perhaps not immediately before promotions/bonuses.

The worst time/way:
As others have said, it is unwise and unprofessional for them to hear the news from other people before you formally tell them. Especially if that is from colleagues who have seen it on Facebook!

Morning sickness: I just said I was feeling a bit rough. It is quite common for us to be away from our desks so I don't think it was too noticeable.

How did they react? Really well. At least outwardly! Of the three men I work for, two had young families and the third was an expectant father. So it is a good team for that kind of thing.

PS I am a big tea drinker and tried a lot of decaf teas when preg and BF. PG Tips was the best by far - I choose to drink it when not preg to cut down on caffeine. Not saying that to curry favour but I genuinely thought it was the nicest I tried.

Lozmatoz Sat 01-Mar-14 16:40:59

I found bursting into tears and sobbing 'I'm pregnant' when asked if I was OK, worked really well this time!

PS I am pleased about it!

StarsAbove Sat 01-Mar-14 17:56:18

I had to tell my boss at 7 weeks as I had an early bleed and so several hospital appointments that week. She was really supportive. I didn't tell my team until 16 weeks, my boss hated keeping the secret! I was lucky not to have any sickness and wasn't showing yet so I waited until after the scan, telling my family and getting used to the idea!

MaddAddam Sat 01-Mar-14 18:21:18

The first time was not a good time as we were just starting a new project and my boss was surprised, she'd thought I'd be waiting a few years.
The second time was not a good time as we were still on the same new project and my first dd was less than a year old and my boss was surprised, she'd thought I'd wait longer between children.
The third time was the worst time, because by then it was getting embarrassing to have to continually admit to the same very family friendly boss that I was going off YET AGAIN. 3 children in my workplace is seen as excessive and inappropriate.

I learned the third time. Do not tell your boss you are pregnant yet again in a car which she's driving if she's an erratic type. She nearly crashed.

When you need to.
So if there are things requiring an occ health assessment ASAP, they need to know as soon as you know.
The girl who didn't tell anyone til 24 weeks, and carried on doing a job she KNEW would be removed form her as soon as she told anyone she was pregnant (minor chemical issue) wasn't well received.
If your struggling with morning sickness or HG, they need to know to help you.

If your doing fine, the appointments fit round work, and no adjustments are needed, tell them in time to get your maternity leave.

HerGraciousMajTheBeardedPotato Sat 01-Mar-14 20:22:16

It can be quite embarrassing to feel you have to explain to your boss that the reason your work has been severely under par for the past month, and you've been late every day and not putting in the hours, is because you've been totally knocked back by severe morning sickness (and that's why you're telling her at 9w, even though you'd rather wait until after the scan, so this is not official, and please keep it confidential) and for her to reply

"Oh, I hadn't noticed any issues. By the way, congratulations."

WhoWasThatMaskedWoman Sat 01-Mar-14 20:27:24

I didn't tell my boss the first time. I miscarried at 8 weeks and I didn't want work to know, I wanted to carry on as normal to take my mind off it. I did tell one trusted colleague who covered for me in difficult circumstances (co-workers announcing pgs for example). But he was very discreet and not too intrusive- I felt if I'd told everyone else I'd have seen it in their eyes IYSWIM.

The second time I waited until the 12 week scan, then went into my boss's office, closed the door and said. "Are you sitting comfortably? Do you have a drink? I'm pregnant." He was a bit blindsided but reacted perfectly, with smiles and congratulations.

I didn't have morning sickness so didn't need to hide it. I went on a business trip at 10 weeks but it was with the same trusted colleague from my previous pg and I'd told him so didn't have to mess around with pretending to drink and surreptitiously avoiding salmon mousse.

Paintyfingers Sat 01-Mar-14 20:40:32

I had to tell mine at around 7 weeks shock as I had terrible ms and was actually near constantly green in the face blush

FightingOverImaginaryIcecream Sat 01-Mar-14 20:53:50

DC1, my boss knew from when I started trying as I had to avoid certain work areas incompatible with even the possibility of pregnancy. I still got a promotion soon afterwards (into his new team) meaning I no longer went near anything dodgy. It took us so long TTC, that I think he'd thought it was all a ruse to avoid doing unpleasant jobs and was quite surprised by an actual announcement. I needed to tell at about 8 weeks as the morning sickness was hideous, as he knew we were TTC I thought it wouldn't matter that much as not that unexpected.

DC2 I very nearly announced at 6(ish) weeks by being sick in a very senior manager's lap, fortunately managed to run in time, but no-one who heard the retching was left in much doubt... Officially announced at 12 weeks, but nearly everyone seemed to know by then.

2stopspastdagenham Sat 01-Mar-14 21:46:17

It isn't funny. Many firms don't find it amusing. Many bosses less so. Wish were different....

Do it over tea. Work out after scans. Know you and baby are well. Get yourself knowledgeable as best at this stage you can. Take advice from mumsnet, mums you know, women you know. Book a comfortable slot; 11am or 3pm often good if an office. Ask for a 1:1 and make clear there's stuff to talk about. Pre read policy info have questions ready. This sets you both on new ground. It's important. It's proper personal news. Treat it with the reverence it deserves. It's momentous - you will be a mum.


AndHarry Sat 01-Mar-14 21:56:18

I think after the 12-week scan is a good time to tell your manager, unless there are problems before that point that might require you to take a lot of time off either as sick leave or to attend extra appointments. In that case, the sooner the better as then you are protected from disciplinary action on the basis of your pregnancy-related absence, paid time off to attend relevant appointments and any pregnancy-related sick days won't show up on your absence record if you decide to go for another job. Another time to tell as soon as possible is when you work in a job or an environment that is potentially hazardous to the baby or pregnant women.

The worst time to tell... Maybe when your manager is über-stressed about something or other, the day before the statutory time to tell is up or the day after you give birth?!

In early pregnancy with DC1 I had swine flu so was easily able to attribute any tiredness or sickness to that. I was lucky to have an easy pregnancy with DC2 so no excuses were ever required.

I had different managers with each pregnancy and told them face-to-face in private before sending a back-up email with all the relevant information to them and HR. Both times I had a middle-aged male manager and they were very positive.

IncaAztec Sat 01-Mar-14 22:23:27

I told my boss on a one to one meeting after my 12 week scan. I had quite a bit of sickness but somehow hid it. I told my boss at 12 weeks as I felt he needed to plan for my maternity leave etc. I think the worst way is to wait too long, I did this during my second pregnancy as I waited til my 20 week scan due to complications. I felt bad about it but my boss was fine with it.

milliemoon Sat 01-Mar-14 22:26:57

I told the boss straight away as I worked with challenging behaviours so there were some aspects of the job I needed to avoid straight away

changedirection Sat 01-Mar-14 22:45:25

Told my boss around 7 weeks as was feeling so rough and tired I only felt it was fair he knew. Asked him to to himself though and told rest if colleagues after 12 week scan.

It was good telling early, reduced the amount of worrying about his reaction (which was, of course fine)

LackaDAISYcal Sun 02-Mar-14 00:59:10

In my current job its best to tell your line manager as soon as possible so a risk assessment can be carried out. Not likely to ever have to tell them so not an issue! I hope!!

Worst time would be just before a big deadline in any job, or just after you manager has announced that she/his wife has had a miscarriage (this happened to a friend of mine)

With my first DC, we were booked to go on a work weekend jolly to Barcelona. I had to tell my boss as I was concerned about flying just incase anything went wrong, and then I had to tell my colleagues as A) I wasn't drinking and had been up to that point a right ole lush and B) we went to a really famour fish restaurant off Las Ramblas, and I spent the whole time running outside to puke in the gutter and eventually had to excuse myself and go back to the hotel and C) I was asleep by seven every night and had to explain my absence at dinner, drinking and clubbing...boss was surprisxed like everyone else as my long term partner and I had just split up!

With DC2, I had already had a miscarriage so I guess they were expecting another announcement so weren't surprised when I did announce it. In fact my boss asked me first and I had to try and deflect him. He wasn't convinced! this boss was altogether more sexist and told me about his wife giving up work as soon as she found out she was pregnant and then staying at home to raise his babies...

I then found out I was pregnant again before my maternity leave was up so went from one straight into another with a couple of weeks signed off with PND. That went down like a lead balloon hmm

RubySparks Sun 02-Mar-14 06:43:02

Telling your boss needs to be quite early on so time off is given for appointments, so at least before 12 week scan. As others have said, having bad morning sickness meant I couldn't keep it quiet even if I wanted to! Bizarrely the first time I worked in male dominated company/industry and 3 of the women in the office became pregnant the same time I did! So that helped me feel less unusual...

TheSumofUs Sun 02-Mar-14 07:18:10

As early as you feel comfortable

Waiting too long is inconsiderate as the employer needs to make coverage plans

CrewElla Sun 02-Mar-14 10:18:47

Both times I told work quite early; the first time as I was so sick and couldn't hide it and the second time because the job was so stressful I needed early accommodations.

In the terms of best/worst I think that is dependant on the woman. If she is ready to share then that's the best time, if her news gets out before she wants to tell then it is the worst time.

I never had to hide my morning sickness or explain it away.

My first employer was terribly negligent in dealing with my pregnancy but my current employer was good.

LouiseFromLondon Sun 02-Mar-14 14:51:12

I'm 8 weeks pregnant and planning to tell my work at just after 12 weeks. However the father and I (though good friends) are not a couple and I'm really worried about being the centre of stigma/ gossip if I were to tell people that I am doing this alone. I am tempted to pretend that the father (who they will never met anyway) and I are a couple! This would be easy as my work life is completely separate to my personal life. I work in a small team of women and they love to chat and gossip (my boss is VERY nosey) so I know I will have to bat away endless questions. Either way I feel I can't win! Anyone been in a similar situation?? Any good advice?!

BlizzardInWales Sun 02-Mar-14 16:10:57

~ when's the best time to share the news with your employer(s)? - both in terms of your pregnancy and other things going on at work

The first time it was easy. I'd been with the company for years! Everyone was surprised, but very pleased. I told very early because I was just so excited.

This time was a little different... I'd only been with the company for a very short time. On the one hand it made sense to leave it as long as possible so that I'd been there at least a few months! On the other hand, the role involves working with potentially physically aggressive children and teenagers, so the employer needed to know ASAP.

I eventually told at 11 weeks when I deemed that I was far enough along to feel at risk in the environment I was in.

~ when's the worst time?

Pretty much when I told them!

~ how did you explain / excuse any morning sickness bouts?

I'm one of those irksome souls who doesn't really suffer beyond occasional nausea.

~ how did you tell your boss and what was their reaction?

My boss was very kind, slightly put out in a humorous way. I was the fifth employee from that floor within two months to discover I was pregnant!! He's running out of staff.

Jinty64 Sun 02-Mar-14 19:33:16

~ when's the best time to share the news with your employer(s)? - both in terms of your pregnancy and other things going on at work
I think, generally, it is best to tell them fairly early on so that it can be ensured that the environment is safe and a risk assessment can be done.

~ when's the worst time?
Immediately after your colleague tells them she is or in a board meeting!

~ how did you explain / excuse any morning sickness bouts?
The smell from the canteen would drift in our window from first thing in the morning growing ever stronger as lunchtime approached. I had all day sickness and the only thing that helped was sipping strawberry Ribena and normally I can't stand it.

~ how did you tell your boss and what was their reaction
Having had two miscarriages and being convinced that I would have another with ds3 I kept putting off telling anyone at work. I had just started a new job and two colleagues had announced their pregnancies the week before, both due well after me. I was 42 with two older children and when I told my boss I had something to tell her she said "oh don't tell me you're pregnant too" and laughed. She was very happy for me once she got over the shock!

StainlessSteelCat Sun 02-Mar-14 19:51:51

best time? early on, so any health and safety can be addressed, time off for antenatal appointments is easier, allowances can be made when you are throwing up and your impending mat leave can be sorted with less panic. worst time? for me that would have been too early on in pregnancy, for boss it would have been later on in pregnancy. in both cases it's a balance between your needs and theirs, and timing is going to be different in different work places and pregnancies.

StainlessSteelCat Sun 02-Mar-14 19:54:46


morning sickness was main reason I told before 12 weeks scan, I was throwing up loads and needed to explain why. last pregnancy I didn't realise I was pregnant until after I had been sent home from work after spectacularly throwing up. that, BTW, is not the best way to tell work you are pregnant ....

MadMonkeys Sun 02-Mar-14 19:55:15

I told my boss at about 10 weeks so i could be honest about needing time off for my 12 week scan. Amazingly nobody guessed despite my emergency sick bucket on the passenger seat or my frequent trips to the loo...

p.s. This will scupper my chances of winning the prize, but i actually think Sainsbury's own decaf is loads nicer than any of the big brands. Tetleys decaf is revolting... PG is okay.

StainlessSteelCat Sun 02-Mar-14 20:06:07

and again ...

I told line manager by waiting for a quiet moment, and then being very matter of fact. response was always very supportive, and continued to be, although I suspect the next manager up may have wished the timing was bettergrin The next step was to inform HR, then heath and safety get involved, and those parts were standard bureaucracy - almost impersonal, follow standard procedures.

I always dreaded telling work, but that's due to me being hormonal rather than their response. I have always felt work was supportive of me during pregnancy, even though one time there were several of us going on mat leave very close together. They were equally supportive of a colleague who went on extremely short notice adoption leave for 9 months, they definitely took the long view on staff taking mat leave.

DoItTooJulia Sun 02-Mar-14 20:59:30

1. As soon as you want to. I guess it depends on the type of job you do, how sick./tired you are, how well you get along with your boss and so on.

2. The worst time? I can't answer've stumped me. Straight after something terrible.

3. I just had plenty of snacks and drinks at the office. I don't spend all of my time in the office so that helped!

4. I told my boss during a regular one to one meeting. He seemed pleased and I thnk relieved that I wasn't leaving altogether!

manfalou Mon 03-Mar-14 12:24:02

~ when's the best time to share the news with your employer(s)? - both in terms of your pregnancy and other things going on at work

We don't tell anyone until after the first scan at 12 weeks so this is when I told my employer. If I was closer to them I probably would've told sooner but tbh they were horrible people and I didn't want them knowing.

~ when's the worst time?

at the very latest opportunity 25 weeks I would say.

~ how did you explain / excuse any morning sickness bouts?

Didn't have morning sickness and our uniform was baggy. I do pregnancy really well, get fat eventually but apart from that I'm as fit as a fiddle!

~ how did you tell your boss and what was their reaction?

I had the morning off for my 12 week scan and then went straight into the office and told them when I got into work. A big fake congratulations as id just accepted a promotion haha I found out i was pregnant the day before I accepted.

AdamantEve Mon 03-Mar-14 12:35:09

I think it's best to inform your management team as early as you are comfortable with as if any allowances need toe made as the pregnancy progresses, they will already be aware.

Probably not a good idea to inform them when they are rushing and don't have time to discuss it properly!

Re. Morning sickness, I luckily didn't suffer.

I told my manager at 6 weeks, I may not have mentioned it quite so early but DP and I wanted to book a holiday and I thought it would help sway her decision to grant the leave! She was the first person I told face to face - had told my family over the phone, so it was strangely emotional.
She was very congratulatory. I cried.

CheeseTMouse Mon 03-Mar-14 15:14:26

I told my boss as soon as possible as it was obvious I was not my normal self, and I was exhausted. He was really kind about it and it meant I didn't need to do some business travel I wasn't really in a state to do. I think it totally depends on your employer how you approach things and I am thankful they are supportive.

Nottheshrinkingcapgrandpa Mon 03-Mar-14 19:47:28

I told my boss at 12 weeks- had blamed not drinking after work on antibioti s and got away with it smile

stephgr Tue 04-Mar-14 01:16:57

I told my boss on the last working day just before Christmas so there wasn't much she could do! It didn't come as a surprise to her because she'd noticed I'd stopped drinking.

Rebuslover Tue 04-Mar-14 07:28:10

when's the best time to share the news with your employer(s)?
I guess when things have gotten over the high miscarriage risk point, usually 12 weeks, however if one has had frequent early losses and have a physical job then it may be in their best interests to tell the boss earlier.
when's the worst time? it you are not one of the first few folk to be telling your boss that you've obviously sat on the pregnancy chair within a space of a few months- I was once number seven in a year in a predominantly female team- did not go down well at all.
I agree with others who have said when someone else may have told your boss before you get round to it.
how did you tell your boss and what was their reaction? first one, had threatened loss and was rostered to work a weekend a few days after, probably should have just got signed off but didn't want to at that point. Burst into tears when my boss asked if I was okay when I tried to cover up the exact reason why I wanted to swap out of the weekend working. Being the seventh pregnant in a year, boss was kind about the threatened loss but it later became a bit of a bone of contention when planning for "yet another maternity leave".
Second time was locuming and was 14 weeks with twins, just told employer straight up as I wasn't going to take any risks with manual handling. She seemed quite taken aback with my honesty about being pregnant but understood it was so that I was upfront about potentially not managing some manual handling complex cases. She and the team were so very kind when the pregnancy ended too soon.
This time, both direct and top line managers have been brilliant. Waited till I was 14 weeks, and just told them one after the other, they both said that they expected it and have been very supportive.
I know I have been very fortunate in my experience of telling the boss compared to others!

puddock Tue 04-Mar-14 10:04:03

Best time: after dating scan, when you're into your 2nd tri, have a clear EWC to share for the official HR side of things.
Worst time: for me, 1st tri was private and nobody except for DP and my HCPs knew, I would not have liked work colleagues knowing before my family and friends. I imagine not letting them know until after whenever the MATB1 deadline is - twenty-something weeks? - would be pretty bad too.
I got my "morning sickness" in the evening, so not an issue at work. I did have time off for hospital appointments both before and after my assisted conception (scans, bloods, 6 week viability scan) but as far as work were concerned these were gynae appointments.
I told my boss in a routine private meeting when I was about 14 weeks. He was fine, professional and congratulatory. I worked for a big corporation with clear procedures to follow. No drama there!

ScarletStar Tue 04-Mar-14 16:11:39

when's the best time to share the news with your employer(s)? - I waited until the day after I had my 12 week scan. I work in a predominantly female environment and had to tell my male boss as soon as possible as I knew they'd started to guess! I think it's important that your boss finds out first hand. And choose a time when you feel relaxed and happy. I wasn't nervous about telling my boss and therefore the conversation about maternity leave etc, went very smoothly and quickly.
when's the worst time? - Don't tell them when they are really harassed about staff shortages! Unfortunately my boss is ALWAYS stressed about having an extremely fertile female office with everyone working part time, but hey ho...
how did you explain / excuse any morning sickness bouts? - He didn't notice my gigantic packet of ginger biscuits on my desk because he is a very blokey bloke. grin
how did you tell your boss and what was their reaction? I asked for a word in private, sat down in his office and laughingly said 'I know you won't want to hear this but I'm pregnant!' He shook my hand, said congratulations and then immediately tried to cover up his panic at yet another member of staff going off on maternity leave by 'joking' about us 'bloody women.' I just laughed, because a) I was happy and b) it's not my problem to get stressed about that because I'm not the boss!

Draven Tue 04-Mar-14 16:21:41

I was temping at the time of my last pregnancy,

On my way to the loo my boss stopped me to chat, I threw up all over her nice new expensive shoes blush .... and mumbled something apologetic about morning sickness as I ran off. That was my announcement.

In all fairness she was very nice about it afterwards.

Jennyl131 Tue 04-Mar-14 16:40:13

mine knew as soon as I suspected, but then my oh is my employer! -Didn't tell other staff until around 14 weeks
Worst time would've been if any other team member had been going off on mat leave (very small team & I usually do all cover)
Didn't really get morning sickness, but had to struggle in with nasty cold that passed around all staff & politely refuse all offers of paracetamol /cold relief medications with "oh, I just took some"
Boss was really pleased (but then he is my oh!)

Wjjkl Tue 04-Mar-14 20:56:28

I think it's important to share with your boss so they hear it from you firsthand & allowing them plenty of time to make provision for your cover - definitely not to find out through the grapevine or they guess because of your increasingly baggy clothes you wear..! However, it should also be when you feel comfortable to do so - it doesn't have to be as soon as 12 weeks are passed.

The vast majority of bosses should be happy for you as it's just part of life. My boss was lovely & very supportive

WellThatsLife Wed 05-Mar-14 15:12:19

"you know you supplied me the emergency pill 4 weeks ago"
"well you how know it's got a 5% failure rate in the first 24 hours"
boss "aah"

Have to let them know fairly early as some medicines cannot be handled by pregnant women

HerGraciousMajTheBeardedPotato Wed 05-Mar-14 18:22:32

I had a colleague who never did break the news. The first we knew was when she didn't turn up one Monday morning. The manager phoned up to ask if she was OK, and was answered by her mother saying "They're both doing very well". It was a complete surprise to the whole office! She was quite a private person, and a baggy dresser anyway, and nobody had noticed a thing.

SaltySeaBird Wed 05-Mar-14 19:52:28

When's the best time to share the news with your employer(s)? - both in terms of your pregnancy and other things going on at work
It depends on the employer but early is better in my opinion. It helps if you have appointments or feel really sick and have to be back and forth to the bathroom. It also gives plenty of time to sort things out.

when's the worst time?
During any form of work crisis of confrontation! You don't want your pregnancy to be associated with either.

how did you explain / excuse any morning sickness bouts?
I told my boss early on and worked from home as much as possible during the bad spells of morning all day sickness.

how did you tell your boss and what was their reaction?
I asked to have a quick chat and said I had some happy personal news to share. It didn't go down well to say the least and I ended up having to get legal advice ... I did return and work there for over a year post maternity and it all worked out fine. I'd advise any other females to steer clear of them as an employer though!

WeAllHaveWings Wed 05-Mar-14 20:13:59

Had some bleeding at 6 weeks and phoned in sick to HR to purposely avoid talking to anyone in team. typically incompetent HR never passed on message so boss called me at home as concerned when I didn't show up. I was in bed after being up all night worrying and wasnt expecting the call so didn't answer home phone (also dh's work phone and answer phone has has mobile number).

Boss called dh at work to ask where I was and dh got all protective and flustered and blurted it out to boss.

Boss was really nice and also kept it secret until I was ready to tell others. it was good he knew as the first 12 weeks I was a walking zombie going to bed at 7pm at night!

We had our 12 week scan on the Friday, got married on the Saturday and shocked family and friends on the Sunday, then colleagues on the Monday with a wedding ring AND a scan photo.

Lent1l Thu 06-Mar-14 14:30:32

I work from home but for a large organisation. I get on really well with my boss (luckily). The first pregnancy (2 years ago) I let him know quite early on as I realised I would be leaving the team for maternity leave a month before the other person who did a similar job retired. I wanted to give them as much motice as possible so they could cover our area with both of us gone.

This time I left it longer as there was no immediate worry to tell him. We were having a face to face meeting so took a scan photo along and said I had something to show him! He groaned and asked how would they cope without me again before congratulating me.

I think the best time and how depends very much on your own personal circumstances and the relationship you have with your boss. I'm lucky, except that with jsut 5 weeks left at work he takes every opportunity to remind me at the moment that I am having 8 months off and how nice it would be to have such a long holiday! I know he's joking but some days when I am being kicked hard in the ribs it is a joke I could do without.

Chot Thu 06-Mar-14 15:15:19

With my first baby, I had to have some early scans and also had morning sickness so was off work a fair bit - but by the time the morning sickness fully kicked-in, I had already told my boss - or rather, a colleague had very kindly (gritted teeth!) done so!!!!!!!!!!!!! She had guessed, after I'd had another hospital appt, and had asked me outright (who does that?!) and I can't lie so had said yes - I was then off work the next day (can't remember if it was booked leave or morning sickness!) and when I came back into the office, she had told EVERYONE!!!! I was so cross - and so embarrassed that I'd not told them myself (not that I'd really had a chance, I was still only about 6 /7 weeks at this stage and had only known for about 10 days myself!!) - everyone was very nice and kind and pleased for us, (and I was glad they knew early on as it really did help when I was absent so much due to the sickness) but I really wish I'd just found some way to brush off that colleague's questions so I'd have been able to tell my boss and my team in my own time in my own way! It would have been quite early anyway, as my job had elements that I had to avoid in pregnancy - but I'd have possibly given myself another week or two to get used to the idea that I was pregnant myself first!!

With subsequent babies, I didn't make that mistake again and always made sure I told my boss before anyone else at work (I had changed teams / offices between 1st and 2nd babies - and my colleagues in that team were more respectful of my privacy, etc. so I don't think any of them would have been so indiscreet, but I wasn't taking any chances!!).

With my fourth, I was very paranoid that something bad was going to happen so didn't want to tell anyone until after the 20 week scan - but, as they do, my baby scuppered those plans as I was so obviously pregnant by about 15 weeks (like already in maternity clothes!!!!), that I had to tell my boss - I was a bit nervous about it as I was (am) now working for a small, private company (previously I had been in a public service dept. where they'd followed all the mum/parent-friendly guidelines!) and I knew it would impact heavily on them - but they were so sweet, really genuinely delighted for me and instantly put me at ease about it. (My boss is a working mum herself, which helps.)

But, in general, my advice would be - tell them when YOU'RE ready to tell them (early is good if you need to make changes to your work or are ill early on but don't feel pressured to tell before you're ready to tell) and tell your boss before you tell your colleagues (!). Also, be tough about it - if they're a bit un-pregnancy-friendly, read-up on your rights and put yourself first - you have an extremely precious "cargo" on board and their & your welfare is far more important than deadlines / work's needs!! smile

I told my manager soon after my 12 week scan both times. The first time, it was because I was so excited and the second time, I started showing from 10 weeks so really couldn't keep it hidden. I'd say the worst time to tell my manager was when my colleague announced her pregnancy the day before - ooops! But my employer has been very supportive both times.

SuffolkNWhat Thu 06-Mar-14 17:09:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BikeRunSki Thu 06-Mar-14 19:21:59

I felt dreadful and had already had a couple of days of with a "tummy bug". I was 7 weeks pg with dc1. It was school holidays and very few people were in, but managers had been called in for a meeting. At lunch time I went and got the three folk I reported to/worked most closely with and told them I had something important to say. When I told them I was pg my line manager looked really relieved and said he thought I was going to resign! News of pg went down well. I also said I'd never felt so ill - just as well as I was hospitalised with hyperemisis later that day.

The driver for telling work early was being so ill. I knew I couldn't function properly or do my job so I thought they needed to know before I took any more random sick days. I didn't realise i was about to be off for 8 weeks!

Work were fab, and various people came to see me in hospital and later at home. Did my risk assessment with my line manager at home before I went back. Loads of support. I think telling them early helped. Because I'd had a good experience first time, I didn't hesitate to tell them when I felt hyperemisis looming for the second time, again at 7 weeks.

asuwere Thu 06-Mar-14 21:21:45

*when's the best time to share the news with your employer(s)? - both in terms of your pregnancy and other things going on at work* I think whenever you feel comfortable enough to share the news. Personally, I would think after you've told close family and friends so they don't hear it through rumours. As for suitable work time, preferably at a quiet time when your manager can deal with any paperwork/risk assessments necessary.
*when's the worst time?* hmmm... Day before you're due to leave? Or just before manager leaves for a 2 week holiday?
*how did you explain / excuse any morning sickness bouts?* I have felt very nauseous with each pregnancy but I've never actually had sickness so not had any real issues.
*how did you tell your boss and what was their reaction?* I work in very large office and my job doesn't need to be covered as such so I have left it as late as possible to tell with most of my pregnancies. Each time, my manager has been very happy (different manager each time) and supportive, if slightly surprised.

CelticPromise Thu 06-Mar-14 21:33:14

In theory I think the best time is as early as possible, but in reality many workplaces are not supportive and women have very good reasons for not telling. The worst time I would say is any time you are forced into it by circumstances and can't make your own plans to tell.

I told when I needed time off for scan. I was the fourth woman in a month in my firm of 18 staff to tell my boss I was pregnant. I asked for a word in a side room and she said, "You're not pregnant are you?" grin She was very lovely about it but mat leave was a headache that year...

Fairylea Thu 06-Mar-14 21:39:23

I didn't really have a choice but to tell my boss as soon as I found out I was pregnant - my work was very physical (running a busy chain restaurant with lots of heavy duties). I would have rather waited till past the 12 week stage.

At around the time I got pregnant I had a conversation with my area manager about potentially being promoted and surprise surprise when he found out I was pregnant that was never mentioned again and I had no written record of it being offered.

My immediate line manager was really supportive during my pregnancy. I ended up having a lot of time off for a high risk reason later in the pregnancy and she was very kind about it all.

daisybrown Thu 06-Mar-14 22:32:17

Definitely not too soon.
Wait for him/her to be smiling before giving them the good news.
Avoid Monday mornings!

Best1sWest Fri 07-Mar-14 06:13:31

Before someone else does. I told a couple of close colleagues over lunch, one of them told a third close colleague who didn't realise I hadn't told my boss.
Next day I got a phone call from my boss congratulating me blush.

VivaLeBeaver Fri 07-Mar-14 15:24:22

I told my boss first.

Dh was abroad and uncontactable. I had a job which I couldn't do when pregnant due to health and safety. Took the test on a day off and rang my boss ten minutes later and asked him to come over to mine.

He came round for a cup of tea and was fine when I told him. Sorted out that I could work in the office while pregnant and then took me to the buttie van for a bacon roll.

There are certain legal requirements that you have to follow in any case. A good tip is to read your company policy well ahead of time. e.g. do you have to give formal notice in writing, to whom, what details does the letter need to include such as EDD? and so on.

What if you are in a situation where you know the news is not going to go down well? If there are tensions at work such as restructuring or new management? If you feel you want to leave it a bit longer, you have to balance this with whether you need pregnancy-related support. Your employer can't give time off and other support unless you've told them you are pregnant!

nerysw Sat 08-Mar-14 11:02:33

The best time is after your first scan I think when you have a clear idea of a due date and know that things are ok. It depends a lot on the relationship you have with your boss but a meeting just about that would be a good idea, instead of an ad on to another work conversation. The first time I told my boss when and how I wanted to but the second time I had to explain not being in work one weekend after being rushed into hospital a few days after finding out I was pregnant. Luckily all was fine and everyone at work knew before my family and close friends.
My workplace is great and as we're a small team people were very understanding of my pale greyness in the mornings and constant eating for the rest of the day!

Naughty22 Sat 08-Mar-14 11:31:03

Probably not the best time but definitely got the best results..
When I was about 7wks pregnant with DS1 I got called into a meeting with my male CEO who told me he was having to make me redundant. It was a massive shock and I burst into tears and announced "But I'm pregnant!" He said "oh, congratulations, I'll just call HR in.." smile
Consequently, they extended my 'redundancy notice period' so that I qualified for SMP and cut my weekly hours down to achieve this so I didn't even have to work as much. The tasks dried up after a while and they then weren't bothered about me spending time at my desk setting up my own business for post-employment!

Sixgeese Sun 09-Mar-14 00:42:20

For DD2, I had only been back from my second maternity leave a couple of months when I got pregnant again.

Our old director who had left during my previous maternity leave was visiting the office, I was only I was 5 weeks pregnant and obviously I hadn't told anyone yet.

He bumped into me and my line manager having a chat just outside the building, stopped and said "when does your next maternity leave start then?", I didn't know what to say, and ended up spluttering and saying not for a while yet, still early days etc.

It turned out he was joking as DS and DD1 were quite close together in age and he had no idea I was expecting DC3.

Not the way I planned on telling my Line manager, but I swore her to silence for the next few weeks.

I do have to tell them early as I have high risk pregnancies and lots of hospital appointments with haematology and Maternity to see me safely through the pregnancy and while I tried to get them on my days off some fell on working days.

The HR appointment was fun....the Bank I worked for was mainly based in Docklands, but my office was in the City, all the facilities for Pregnant/ breast feeding women were at the Docklands office, she had a tick list that she had to go through explaining about the quiet room I could use for a nap, or on my return to express and store milk, which was an 40 minute round trip from my office, not very useful for me, hopefully they considered the requirements to provide for the staff working in other sites

WheresTheCoffee Mon 10-Mar-14 16:48:06

My boss at the time was horrible, so I told her as late as I could and treated the the conversation like ripping off a quickly as possible!

idleweiss Tue 11-Mar-14 19:47:41

Not long after I started a new part time job last year, my boss was asking me about my two little ones and asked me if I was planning to have more..I answered..yes, I'm actually pregnant with my third!! She was really good about it!! smile

crashbangboom Tue 11-Mar-14 21:37:51

~ when's the best time to share the news with your employer(s)? - both in terms of your pregnancy and other things going on at work

For me I had to have early scans and unfortunately manager told people.

~ when's the worst time?
after you've told everyone but them!

~ how did you explain / excuse any morning sickness bouts?

No need - everyone in the region knew because of indiscreet colleagues.

~ how did you tell your boss and what was their reaction?

Indifferent- she didn't care. Higher management only interested In leaving date and pushed me to leave early.

thesoupdragon44 Wed 12-Mar-14 11:47:19

I didn't tell my boss till I was 4 months pregnant it was a bit tricky as after changing jobs I fell pregnant in the first month. I hid morning sickness with packets of gingernuts. I didn't tell the other people in the office till I was 5 months and hid behind baggy tops! at 8 months people still didn't believe me as I had such a neat bump!
I think judge telling people as you feel comfy and don't feel a pressure to tell just because you have to. It should be an exciting time, but sometimes your safety at work will mean telling all earlier than you would like!

Rbeernae Thu 13-Mar-14 09:12:20

I think it is best to tell asap. That way the can be there for you in case something goes wrong or you are sick etc.
With both my pregnancies I told my employers before I was 10 weeks. Each time I was nervous. The first time because I didn't know how they would react and the second time because I had only just returned from maternity leave. But both times both my bosses knew already and wondered when I would tell them. They knew because they noticed the amount of food on my desk as well as my frequent trips to the loo to be sick.

chewbecca47 Thu 13-Mar-14 12:15:30

By putting my scan picture on a massive screensaver, lol... :P

Theoldhag Thu 13-Mar-14 12:37:28

I arrived at work in time for my lovely boss to hand over to me, she made cuppas and we sat down, I took my first sip and had to promptly put my cup down and run to the nearest toilet. I had my head down it and was puking, boss piped up 'oldhag' I think I will pop and get a pregnancy test for you and promptly popped to chemist over the road.

I remember sitting with my colleagues and boss in the office all waiting for the line to appear grin

Was a jolly good day

xxxkadzxxx Thu 13-Mar-14 20:55:58

I always think you are best to confess when you are 3 months pregnant, after your 1st scan. You dont want to risk losing your job in the early stages, you need to keep hold of it for as long as your able to work when your expecting to get all the money saved you can!
The worst time is before its confirmed! Dont tell your boss that you think you might be and treat them as a friend, only tell them when you are 100% sure your pregnant. They may know your trying for a baby and put you at the top of the redundant list if you let them know!
Luckily i have my own office at work so people didn't really see me popping out to the loo!
I was in a really hard situation. My boss is also my best friend! I couldn't tell him about my pregnancy as i wanted to wait until i was 100% sure and until 3 months had passed to ensure we were on the right track and he didn't start to look for a replacement before i had gone! I didn't only have to tell him i was pregnant but also had to explain why i hadn't told him sooner as he is my best bud! i think that is what upset him the most, understandably.
The business was in a pretty bad way which made things worse, i felt i was really letting him down but also being selfish about it for not warning him sooner but i just couldn't afford to be out of a job. I knew he would need someone else in asap to take my place, at least i though i knew! Turned out he was a star, i worked up until 2 weeks before my due date and he allowed me to pick and choose the hours i came in. He kept my job open for me and let me work from home when it was possible to save me from going into work.
The only problem is i felt i had to return quickly so i didn't take advantage but i done a couple of hours a day and the rest from home, the other staff were also great and took a lot of my workload for me until i returned to work full time! smile

dandm12 Fri 14-Mar-14 06:22:55

~ when's the best time to share the news with your employer(s)? - both in terms of your pregnancy and other things going on at work
I think as soon as you can, depending on when you feel comfortable sharing the news. For me that was after my 12 week scan, but I realise that this might not be the case for everyone! I'm not sure I could have hidden it much longer though!
~ when's the worst time?
Maybe first thing Monday morning - let then have a cuppa and settle into the week first!
~ how did you explain / excuse any morning sickness bouts?
Luckily I wasn't too bad - just super tired so could pass it off as being under the weather.
~ how did you tell your boss and what was their reaction?
I asked her for a catch up and let her know. I was really nervous about telling her but she was lovely! Gave me a hug and congratulated me. And told me not to worry about anything. Was a big relief!

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 17-Mar-14 10:21:09

Hello am pleased to say that LouiseFromLondon wins the £250 voucher!
Congrats! smile

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now